Basketball: Monday Madness

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David Minton/DRC
University of North Texas sophomores Jordan Williams and Tony Mitchell talk during the dunk contest at Basketball Madness, Monday, October 15, 2012, at The Super Pit in Denton, TX.
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Jordan Williams threw down the two biggest dunks in a night full of them Monday night during North Texas Basketball Madness at the Super Pit.

Both the UNT men’s and women’s teams scrimmaged before a 3-point shootout and a slam-dunk contest capped the festivities that served as the unofficial kickoff to the highly anticipated 2012-13 season.

Williams’ first dunk came in the closing seconds of the men’s scrimmage, giving the White team a 45-43 win over the Green team.

He followed that dunk with an even more impressive one — a double-clutch reverse slam that gave him the win over Tony Mitchell in the finals.

“We are ready for the season,” Williams said. “It was great that everyone came out to support us.”

UNT is expected to have one of its best teams ever, thanks to the return of Mitchell — an All-America candidate — and four other starters, not to mention both Williams and Chris Jones, a pair of key guards who missed the second half of last season due to academic issues.

UNT advanced to the Sun Belt tournament final last season without Jones and Williams. Both will be back this season, adding two more talented players to a roster already full of them, including freshman guard P.J. Hardwick, who sat out UNT’s scrimmage due to a minor groin injury.

“This is my 21st year and have been at some great basketball places like New Mexico, obviously Marquette, Arizona State and Nebraska,” first-year UNT head coach Tony Benford said. “What was special tonight was having a great crowd with a lot of energy. They are really excited about this group.”

The UNT women’s team is also entering a new era under first-year head coach Mike Petersen, whose team started the event with its scrimmage.

The Green team knocked off the White team 19-11 behind seven points from TCU transfer Briesha Wynn, who will sit out the upcoming season

UNT was a little short-handed with both Jasmine Godbolt and Alexis Hyder out.

Godbolt is still recovering from knee surgery and will be out at least a month, while Hyder is out due to a concussion she suffered in practice.

Hyder is expected to return to workouts by the weekend.

Petersen said that while the scrimmage was more for fans to see UNT’s team, there were several positive aspects to what he saw, even with two key players out of the lineup.

“It was fine,” Petersen said. “This is for the people who were watching and for the players to have a good time. We were semi-organized and got reasonable shots. It was fun to get out there. The players worked hard and shared the ball.”

It was one of Petersen’s players who hit the shot of the night.

The team of Brandan Walton and Laura McCoy won the 3-point shooting contest over Clarke Overlander and Hannah Christian in double overtime, when McCoy hit a tiebreaking shot from approximately 27 feet.

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870. His e-mail address is bvito@dentonrc.com .


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